A drop of only 700 in 4 months, a major disappointment.
Government must renew their focus on jobs.
ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, called on Government to refocus on removing the barriers to jobs growth as the latest CSO Monthly Unemployment figures, released today (29th September), show little change in unemployment this month. The Association criticised Government for its failure to tackle the increase in the cost of doing business, leading to Ireland’s diminishing competitiveness.
The Monthly Unemployment figures at the end of September confirm that 205,300 people are signing on, a slight reduction of 800 in the month. The standardised unemployment rate is 9.4%.
ISME CEO, Mark Fielding, said, “It is obvious from the latest figures that SMEs, the main employer group in the state, are unable to increase their workforce. Cost increases, unreasonable wage demands and reduced consumer spending are hindering their ability to grow and they are becoming increasingly frustrated by a Government that ignores their concerns. Competitiveness is decreasing while our politicians are busy promoting utopian wage rates and chasing votes”.
“The country requires a clear targeted policy to move individuals from the dole queue back into employment. The employment situation has certainly improved during the lifetime of this Government, largely as a result of external economic factors rather than the much lauded Action Plan for Jobs.”
The Association called on the Government to:
Reduce government influenced business costs to below the EU average.
Reform the social welfare system to make it more profitable to work.
Attack the scourge of ever-increasing black economy activity.
Stop interfering in private sector wage bargaining.
“SMEs want to grow their businesses and they want to take on more staff but the current business environment is preventing this. An Taoiseach has repeatedly reminded us that the job of Government is to create the conditions needed for businesses to succeed, we hope he prioritises this task in the final months of this Dail”, concluded Fielding.